Angolan President Reappoints H.E. Diamantino Azevedo as Petroleum Minister

Angolan President H.E. João Lourenço has reappointed H.E. Diamantino Pedro Azevedo as Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum and Gas, representing a continued vote of confidence in his leadership of the country’s oil and gas sector.

Since his initial appointment in September 2017, H.E. Minister Azevedo has spearheaded one of the most substantial overhauls in the history of the country’s oil and gas industry, restructuring the sector to privatize state-owned Sonangol and refocus its role on core activities of exploration and production, while establishing the National Agency for Oil, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG) to manage consortiums and regulate upstream.

Under the leadership of H.E. President Lourenço, H.E. Minister Azevedo has implemented a series of investor-focused reforms that streamlined investment in Angola’s most sought after sector, adopting new rules and procedures for public tenders involving oil and gas contracts, establishing a formal field abandoment process, incentivizing marginal field development, revising natural gas statues and expanding existing development zones.

“On behalf of Africa Oil & Power and the African energy industry, we welcome the reappointment of H.E. Minister Azevedo, who has served as a champion of reform within Angola’s energy sphere,” says James Chester, Acting CEO of Africa Oil & Power.

In addition to streamlining legislation, Minister Azevedo has been responsible for renewing ties with the country’s leading operators, resulting in new discoveries that include five light oil discoveries made by Eni in Block 15/06, and final investment decisions on large-scale installations, including Total’s Zinia Phase 2 deep offshore development and BP’s Platina field development in Block 18.

“At a time when market conditions demanded it, Angola’s administration delivered incisive, investor-targeted change. With new projects coming on stream, an upcoming licensing round and the launch of gas monetization initiatives, we look forward to contributing to the dynamic oil and gas sector that Minister Azevedo is leading in Angola,” Chester adds.

Since 2017, several projects have been brought online, including the startup of Total’s Kaombo Norte and Kaombo Sul FPSOs in Block 32, and Eni’s Agogo oilfield in Block 15/06.

Facing a more favorable fiscal and regulatory environment, several operators have renewed existing block licenses, including the extension of Block 14 by the Chevron-led consortium until 2028, the extension of Block 15 by the ExxonMobil-led consortium until 2032 and Total’s extension of Block 17 until 2045. Total also acquired new interests in Blocks 20/11 and 21/09 in December 2019, while Eni was awarded operatorship of frontier Block 28.